Rental Property Maintenance During Lockdown

Information flying about at the moment seems to be both abundant and sparse as people are saying
a great deal about the situation but the facts remain unclear. This has made things very difficult for
us because our landlords and tenants have been bombarded with opinions on what is and isn’t
allowed to go on in their properties at the moment and are turning to us for clarification so we
wanted to spell out what is currently allowed in terms of property maintenance and work carried
out in people’s properties.

Emergency Work
If something happens that needs attention immediately or poses a significant risk to residents’
health and safety or cause serious damage, we can organise for a repair person to come out and fix
it. These kinds of issues include gas leaks, water leaks, electrical hazards, ceilings falling in or any
other kind of sudden and serious issue. Even in these circumstances, contractors need to take extra
precautions to guard against spreading COVID-19 and these include staying at least 2 metres away
from people in the properties, wearing appropriate protecting clothing, asking the residents to leave
the room they are working in if possible and not attending a property if they show any symptoms of
the virus even mild ones. We’ve had some good examples of contractors doing everything in their
power to avoid unnecessary risks such as Kingfisher Electrics who have been wearing masks and
being very diligent all round in not touching anything they don’t need to and cleaning up after
themselves.

Safety Testing
This has been a confusing issue because although gas and electrical testing doesn’t seem urgent, it is
very important and with new rules about electrical testing coming into force on 1 st July this year,
contractors are allowed to enter properties to carry out these tests. The current situation does
mean there is some leeway for landlords who are finding it difficult to find contractors to carry out
the tests needed to be compliant with the new regulations and they will not be prosecuted if they
can show that they’ve done everything they can to try to get that work done.

Maintenance
Issues which aren’t life threatening but make a property intolerable to live in such as a lack of
heating or power are also things we are allowed to get fixed for our tenants and landlords. Any
problems which urgently need sorting out to make a property acceptable for human habitation are
allowed to be worked on but the same strict precautions as mentioned above need to be taken by
contractors.

Conclusion
Any work which is not essential to make a property safe and habitable is not permitted. Because the
contractors we use to carry out work on our landlords’ properties always have very high standards of
work anyway, we trust them to take all the necessary precautions to help prevent the spread of
COVID-19 when working on properties. If you would like to know any more about property
maintenance during the national lockdown or are unhappy with the service you are currently getting
from your letting agent in this regard, please contact us on +44 (0)1273 646426 or lettings@bishopsullivan.co.uk